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September 22nd, 2014

This story comes to us from NEXT: A Division of Birthright Israel Foundation, dedicated to creating opportunities for Birthright Israel alumni to continue to experience the best of their trip even after they have returned. This post is written by Rabbi Elie Kaunfer and Rabbi Ari Weiss. Rabbi Elie Kaunfer is the co-founder and executive director of Mechon Hadar. Rabbi Ari Weiss is the senior director of Jewish education for NEXT: A Division of Birthright Israel Foundation.

This article was first published in eJewish Philanthropy.

For many, the High Holidays represent a fresh start. With all of our community’s services, celebrations, learning retreats and dinners happening over the next few weeks, this season is an ideal opportunity to involve young adults in meaningful Jewish experiences, and to lay the foundation for their year-round engagement in Jewish life.

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September 11th, 2014

This story comes to us from REALITY, a Schusterman initiative and a values-based leadership program that invests in young professionals, empowering them to enact positive social change in their communities.

Debra Feinberg is a 2014 REALITY Leadership participant and a recent alumna of Teach for America. Her two years in the Charlotte Corps were met with great success, most notably, creating an innovative financial literacy curriculum that culminated in leading a team of students to pitch a business proposal to the billionaire tycoon Warren Buffett. Presently, Debra is combining her passion for social justice and travel by participating in education initiatives around the world.

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August 28th, 2014

This story comes to us from Challah for Hunger, a not-for profit organization with over 60 active chapters around the globe, mostly based on university campuses, that bakes and sells challah bread and uses the proceeds to support social justice causes.  

Sapir Nachum is a fourth year student at the University of Virginia and is currently president of Challah for Hunger at UVA. Sapir recently served as a member of the Partnership Committee to select a national partner for Challah for Hunger.

At 2:00AM Israel time, I tuned in to our Partnership Committee’s first video conference. While there are few things that can usually keep me up this late, Challah for Hunger has been a huge part of my college experience and not even the late hour could deter me from working with other Challah enthusiasts to shape the future of our organization. Specifically, our committee was tasked with looking for a new national partner for Challah for Hunger.

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August 21st, 2014

This story comes to us from BBYO, the leading pluralistic teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences. For 90 years, BBYO has provided identity enrichment and leadership development experiences for hundreds of thousands of Jewish teens.

Hayley Krolik is a rising junior at Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto, California. She has been a proud member of BBYO for over two years and recently returned from BBYO’s International Kallah, a program dedicated to helping members discover their Jewish identity.

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August 14th, 2014

We are excited to welcome Rella as our new Program Officer in the Washington, DC office! Learn more about Rella here.

1. Tell us what excites you most about your new position with the Foundation.

So many things! As a former campus Hillel president and a Kivun alum, I know firsthand that the Foundation funds incredible work that connects and engages young Jews and materially supports tikkun olam (repairing the world).

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August 7th, 2014

This story comes to us from Hillel International, which offers college students numerous opportunities to explore and celebrate their Jewish identities by engaging them in Jewish life on their own terms. 

Rotem Ohana is the Director of Hillel at Sapir College near the city of Sderot, Israel. Rotem has a vast background in social work with underprivileged populations in Israel’s periphery and in developing countries. She is a proud resident of Sderot and finds in it, every day, a unique combination of truth and magic.

Her story first appeared on Hillel’s blog.

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August 6th, 2014

Matúš Horvatovič travels back and forth from his hometown of Bratislava, Slovakia to Brno, Czech Republic where he studies international relations at Masaryk University. You can find him working on behalf of the Jewish youth in Slovakia and enjoying student life in Brno.

Matúš’s idea to bring the Shabbat experience to young people in small communities in Slovakia was recently chosen to receive a $1,000 #MakeItHappen micro grant! #MakeItHappen asked young Jews from around the world to submit ideas for what they would do to create a meaningful experience in their Jewish communities. With the support of several community partners, more than 150 ideas were selected to receive a $1k or $5k micro grant to help them go from dream to reality! 

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August 4th, 2014

Amidst ongoing challenges in Israel, individuals and organizations around the globe have stepped up to fill Israel’s growing need for support. Inspired by the grassroots efforts we saw all around us, two weeks ago we created a pool of funding to help young adults in our network keep relief initiatives going. Dubbed #MakeItHappen: Eitanim micro grants, the name references the notion that the Jewish community’s strength comes from its unity (in Hebrew, eitanim is the plural form of “strong”). In just a few short days, we received over 80 applications and more than 60 recipients are now out making an impact. Applications are now closed.

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July 31st, 2014

This summer, 59 REALITY participants and Detroit Federation young adult members were invited to be part of the inaugural TALMA program. In partnership with Schusterman and the Steinhardt Foundation, Israel’s Ministry of Education started TALMA in order to offer students a rigorous and fun summer learning opportunity to improve their skills in English. The REALITY group joined forces with 55 Israeli educators to teach in 14 schools throughout Nazareth Illit and Migdal Ha’emek in northern Israel.

Dan Adler is a REALITY Leadership 2013 participant and currently works as a sixth grade science teacher at UP Academy Leonard in Lawrence, MA. His remarks given at the close of the TALMA summer program are presented here.

Good afternoon. My name is Dan Adler. I am a sixth grade science teacher in Lawrence, Massachusetts, just outside Boston, and I taught fourth and fifth graders at the Ha’ari school in Migdal Ha’Emek this summer during the TALMA program. First, I want to thank the ministry of education for hosting us today. It is an honor to be here.

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July 30th, 2014

This story comes to us from BBYO, the leading pluralistic teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences. For 90 years, BBYO has provided identity enrichment and leadership development experiences for hundreds of thousands of Jewish teens.

Kyle Price is a rising junior at Rye Country Day School in Rye, NY and the Aleph Godol, or Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA) President, of BBYO Westchester Region.

When someone asks me where I live, I immediately respond, “Scarsdale, New York.” One month ago, if someone were to ask me where my home was, the answer would have been the same as the answer to the previous question. Now, I hesitate when asked this question.

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